Every summer I fall into the same routine. I get really sleepy in the afternoon and take naps. I forego balanced meals for fruit for dinner. Nothing that's really all that awful, but just kind of a change from winter/fall/spring's diehard exercise fanatic, balanced meal enthusiast. I love summer. I spend every second of the sunshine soaked days outside, nap in the heat of my non-central-AC apartment with abandon, make memories in the park with friends, run along the water...I just really enjoy the incredible gift that is summer in the city.
That said, a healthy habit that stays with me year-round is chugging tea.
Now, I've mentioned my love for tea spritzers before (on TRLS & on ze blog), but I think its one of those things that is easy to not pay attention to - "Oh, whatever. Serena likes tea. Big whoop. So do a lot of people."
Yeahhhh, the thang is that there's a method to my tea drinking. I drink tea with a purpose. Tea to me is a way to fight inflammation, debloat, and speed metabolism.
My Trim & Strong Tea recipe has amazing benefits for my athletes you want to recover faster, my peeps with high blood pressure, those with diabetes/pre-diabetes, and for anyone who is looking to drop a few pounds. I'm kind of obsessed with it.
The recipe below uses a few secret tricks to help you trim down quickly:
1. Decaf Green Tea: Consuming 6-8 bags of green tea daily (this is important, ya gotta drink it on the reg, not just sporadically) provides the body with a constant stream of catechins. Catechins are powerful antioxidants that have been associated with lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity, allowing you to be a fat burning machine.
Tip: If you plan on drinking this tea before 2pm, you can do a few bags of caffeinated green tea with decaf, since caffeine also has a unique fat burning effect. I drink the tea at night, so I only use decaf!
2. Choose a Mint Green Tea: Mint hides the bitterness of the green tea and suppresses appetite. Mint also helps to decrease inflammation and help ya heal up after that hard workout!
3. Dandelion Tea: Hippy science touts dandelion as a powerful agent to help your liver detoxify. I'm not sure if that's true (I sure hope it is!), but dandelion definitely does help you pee out excess water that you'd otherwise store as bloat around your midsection. Feel like your abs are hidden beneath a layer of puffiness? Ya need some dandelion tea in your life!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar: Yet another way to debloat and zap water from around your midsection. Plus it adds awesome flavor!
5. Fresh Lemon: A punch of vitamin C enhances the tea's flavors and protects you against common cold, premature aging & post-workout damage.
I drink about a liter of this tea a day, usually at night instead of mindlessly snacking. Since its calorie-free, tasty and the mint crushes cravings...its seriously the perfect bedtime "snack."
Now, I know some of you are freaking out that you cannot possibly drink a liter of this stuff everyday. Guess what? That's fine. Then drink a glass of it, its okay if it takes you a few days to drink the whole liter... letting the bags steep in the water let's the drink get super concentrated so even a few ounces of it will have powerful superpowers! Woot woot!
Trim & Strong Tea
1 liter cold/room temperature water in a glass vessel
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 bags dandelion root tea
6-8 bags decaf mint green tea *
1 wedge fresh lemon
*may swap decaf for caffeinated for additional fat burning effects, if desired
1. Add tea bags, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar to 1 liter water.
2. Chill for at least 2 hours (I chill overnight).
3. Drink and enjoy!